7 Ways Fire Sprinklers Can Protect Your Building

  • April 20, 2022

Fire sprinklers save lives and property, whether in homes, offices, or other commercial spaces. Their design, placement, usage, and maintenance all contribute to your protection.

To ensure that all systems are designed and installed correctly, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) maintains standards for sprinkler systems in the United States based on engineering principles, test data, and field experience. Additionally, the NFPA 13 gives builders consistent national standards for state and local building codes. 

All these regulations work together for your benefit: but it also shows that fire sprinkler design, installation, and maintenance should always be a priority. Still not sold? Here are seven ways that fire sprinklers protect your building:

3 Ways Fire Sprinklers Can Protect Your Home

Activated by heat, a sprinkler turns on and sprays water to extinguish a fire. Contrary to popular belief, sprinklers startup individually when triggered by high temperatures. One or two sprinklers can often extinguish most fires. In fact:

  • Home fire sprinklers control fires 96% of the time;
  • Without a sprinkler, a fire can become deadly in two minutes;
  • And it only takes three to five minutes for a flashover to occur. That’s when the heat becomes so intense that all combustible surfaces ignite. Sprinklers control the fire so family members can escape.

Home sprinklers should have enough water to provide coverage for at least ten minutes to allow time for an evacuation. The NFPA 13D also outlines standards for one and two-family dwellings and manufactured homes regarding home sprinkler systems that are worth reviewing.

Home Sprinkler Placement

To reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced in a fire, the NFPA recommends using sprinklers in all living areas of a dwelling on each floor of the house. The home installation standards for 2022 also specify rooms where sprinklers are not required, like bathrooms or spaces with few combustible materials. This list includes:

  • Bathrooms 55 square feet large or less
  • Garages, open attached porches, and carports
  • Closets, linen closets, and pantries that are 24 square feet or smaller and lined with limited-combustible materials
  • Attics, unheated mudrooms
  • Ceiling pockets, under certain conditions
  • Closets in garages, exterior closets, exterior breezeways, and corridors

4 Ways Fire Sprinklers Can Protect Your Business

The most common fire causes on commercial properties include equipment used for cooking and heating, electrical issues, smoking, and arson. When sprinklers prevent the spread of fire, they protect your business from substantial damage, along with:

  • Injury to employees and customers
  • Property damage and loss of inventory
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of important documents 

If you’d like to make sure your facility meets the current requirements, schedule an appointment with one of our expert inspectors. When managing a commercial office building, you don’t need to know the fine points of sprinkler system design. You can hire a certified designer to handle that, but it helps to become familiar with these five fire safety requirements:

  1. New commercial buildings greater than 5,000 square feet must have automatic fire sprinklers.
  2. A remodel that increases the size of a commercial building to more than 12,000 square feet requires sprinklers.
  3. Sprinklers are required for buildings more than 55 feet tall.
  4. Fire pumps must be installed to provide adequate water pressure if a non-pressurized water tank feeds the sprinkler system.
  5. Restaurants must have fire sprinklers to host more than 300 guests; grease fires in a kitchen need a chemical extinguisher.

Protecting Your Property

If a fire breaks out in your home or business, fire sprinklers will help save lives and avoid a catastrophic loss. If you need help designing or installing a sprinkler system, contact the team at A&A Fire Protection. Our experts know the latest NFPA code requirements and OHSA safety recommendations to follow. Let us help protect your home or office!

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